Slow Food Finally Addresses Elitism Charges With $5 Challenge

Categories: Talking Points
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SFoodie was an enthusiastic member of Slow Food -- the Italy-based international organization dedicated to traditional foods and, well, everything that is the antithesis of Mickey D's -- for a couple of years back in the 1990s, before we grew tired of the San Francisco convivium's $80 prix-fixe dinners and $70 heritage turkeys. (Though we heard Alice Waters' group in Berkeley was much more fun.)

But the American wing of the organization is slowly finding ways to address charges that it's an elite group of foodies whose pastoral ideals are out of the range of the people whose health is most threatened by our fast-food culture. As yesterday's article in Forbes magazine (Forbes!) describes, Slow Food USA is holding a "$5 Challenge" Day of Action on September 17, daring people to come up with a meal, using entirely unprocessed ingredients, that costs $5 or less per person.

Five dollars per person? That's positively luxurious -- people who take the San Francisco Food Bank's Hunger Challenge next week only get $4.72 to spend per day. People who sign up for the challenge are encouraged to throw Day of Action dinners or potlucks. San Francisco's only organized event, Soup for Supper, is being held at 18 Reasons. The cost: $5, naturally.

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